Kent

Bluewater Christmas shoppers delayed for hours

Traffic at Bluewater Image copyright Chris Clarke
Image caption Chris Clarke said he moved about 20m (65ft) in two hours while trying to leave Bluewater

Visitors to Bluewater shopping centre in Kent have complained of being stuck in traffic for hours trying to leave on Monday evening.

Chris Clark tweeted: "Been trying to get out of bluewater car park for 2 hours - only moved 20 metres."

Callum Saunders tweeted: "Got in the car an hr ago to leave bluewater car park an still haven't turned the ignition on."

Bluewater apologised for the delays and said it had a team to monitor traffic.

Kent Police said the delays had been caused by a broken-down vehicle at Bluewater and the "sheer volume of traffic" at the shopping centre.

Nick Howard was shopping with his mother, who has a lung condition, and said she was affected by the build-up of exhaust fumes in the car park.

He told the BBC: "We decided to leave about five o'clock and we waited for about 20 minutes just to get off the top floor of the car park.

"We gave up because it just wasn't moving, so we re-parked and went back in for an hour."

'Very unpleasant'

Mr Howard said that when he tried to leave again the site was gridlocked.

He said it took almost an hour to get out of the multi-storey car park and a further 30 minutes to leave the site and get on to the M2.

"The exhaust fumes were so heavy. My mum was coughing and it was very unpleasant."

In a statement, Bluewater said: "While the traffic in surrounding areas, including the M25, is out of Bluewater's control, we have a dedicated control team who are continually monitoring the roads and car parks around the centre 24/7.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

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